By NICK GIONGCO
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has appointed Mark Nelson of the US as the third man in the ring when Manny Pacquiao makes the first defense of the WBO 147-lb crown against Jeff Horn on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia.
The three judges who were also assigned to score the scheduled 12-rounder at Suncorp Stadium are Waleska Roldan of New York, Chris Flores of Arizona and Ramon Cerdan of Argentina.
WBO president Francisco Valcarcel, aware of the magnitude of the fight, will assume the important role of the fight supervisor in the event being staged by the New Zealand-based Duco Promotions in partnership with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Inc.
Meanwhile, over in General Santos City, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach made the assurance yesterday that Manny Pacquiao is nearing the summit.
“He’s getting there,” Roach said after seeing Pacquiao go 10 hard and punishing rounds in sparring in barely three weeks before the fight.
Roach sent in three fighters – Australian George Kambosos, Mexican Adrian Young and one local guy–Tuesday afternoon for the purpose of pushing Pacquiao to the limit and the 38-year-old eight-division champion didn’t disappoint.
This week will be the boiling point of the camp’s preparations before everyone begins to cool it down as they all get ready to depart for Brisbane on a chartered Air Asia flight on June 24.
Once Pacquiao sets foot in Brisbane, there’ll be a few engagements on tap, including an open workout for the media on June 27 followed by the official press conference the following day.
The official weighin will be on July 1 at 9 a.m. at Suncorp Stadium, site of the scheduled 12-rounder.
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